09 April 2009

Vox Boxing

:: L I G H T B O X I N G  via  V E E R ::
Nov '08 Bout: "All is LOST for Adelle Charles + Donna Holesworth" 

In keeping with their mission of "Elements for Creativity", Veer hosts a wonderful lil creative shoot-out called Lightboxing ("One lightbox, Two Designers"). It's a brilliant mechanism to draw art directors to Veer's site (and products) and prove to the advertising and design world what can be accomplished within their image, illustration, and typographic portfolio.

As Veer deems it: "The rules are simple. Using only the images and type provided in a Veer lightbox, make something great. Crop. Cut. Paste. Fight dirty. Write copy. Make a knockout design. The voting public decides the winner. The prize? Bragging rights, and some sweet Veer swag." (ala the Lorem Ipsum Cuff I boasted about back in November's Heavy Metal post. Tres cool swag. Perfect for us design freaks)

The Lightboxing bouts have netted some industry heavy-hitters w/surprising results given the fact they are using all the same image assets (Check out the bout featured above). Kudos to Veer and Lightboxing for clevelry creating a relevant reminder that photoshoots are not the end-all-be-all for amazing conceptual design. A hard pill for many of us to swallow but with today's challenged budgets, a growing reality.

[ sidebar: Coudal Partners' Layer Tennis is pretty sweet too.  Just further evidence that the design community is competive as hell at the core.  ]

So, per this blog's manifesto, how does this design theme relate to music? Well, ya ever hear of a "Cover Song"? ;) Think about it: the same melody, same lyrics yet one song can be translated so many wonderful, or lackluster, ways. Often times the remake/redo/remix/mash-up surpasses the original song by breathing new life into the tune. But the beauty of it all is that the original was an inspirational catalyst for next generation artist or band.

Vox Boxing is my musical spin to Veer's Lightboxing. These tunes are some of the best remakes from my library and am eager for the debates to begin! I'd love to hear your fave remakes. Please, drop me a note.

For those readers who celebrate Easter, have a great one. A sense of renewal can never be a bad thing. For those that don't, may your weekend be special + fullfilling. Joy

Fell In Love With a Boy
Joss Stone   (iTunes)
While I love my boy Jack White and his gal Meg, Joss knocks it out of the park w/this remake in her own velvety way.

Some Velvet Morning
Slowdive   (Wikipedia)
In keeping w/Ms Stone's dreamy vibe, Some Velvet Morning envokes memories of a Southern California June Gloom. Just fluid, yet a bit murky. The kicker is, this is a Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood remake. I was pretty surprised when I discovered that fact. Hats off to team Sinatra/Hazlewood, as after hearing their version, it's clear Slowdive didn't deviate too far from the orig.

Feel Good Inc
Editors   (web site)
I'll be damned if these bloody brits didn't one up the Gorillaz on this tune. This acoustic version is a vast departure from orig pop tune yet demonstrates the strength of the orig tune (still love the orig vid, though. Quasi-anime and a wonderful nod of rockstar self-deprication.)

Gin and Juice
The Gourds    (iTunes)
This Snoop Dog remake is commonly attributed to Phish. A LOT. Just Google it...Poor Gourds. But to their steet cred, The Gourds' unique alt country touch to this song is pretty brilliant. From what I've read, Snoop approves. Word.

Lively Up Yourself
Charlie Hunter Trio    (iTunes)
So, how about this tasty treat from the Chas Hunter 3? Irie, Mon.

Guitar Man
Cake   (iTunes)
Cake contemporizing Bread's 'Guitar Man'. Could have been a train wreck but it's not. Totally works in my book. Stays true to the orig w/a healthy dose of some guitars + Cake's cake-ness. Yum.

I Will Survive
Cake   (iTunes)
Oddly enough, Cake does an angry woman well. Or at least John McCrea does an angry Gloria Gaynor well. I believe him when he says he "should have changed his effin lock..." It's so 'laid-back-indie-dude-channeling-scorned-disco-diva'. And it's soooo good.

(programming note: channeling my college music days here in this home stretch offering. Circa 1988. Ha!)

Secret Machines   (web site)
I applaud any band that takes on a New Order tune. Hard to improve on perfection.

A Forest
Nouvelle Vague   (iTunes)
A Forest is in my Top 5 Fave Cure songs. Robert Smith's unique voice and look just mesmeriszed me back in the day. Nouvelle Vague's version of this song mesmeriszes me equally. Marina Celeste's voice is wonderfully layered over a bossa nova dappled tempo.

The Killing Moon
Pavement   (iTunes)
And now for an Echo and The Bunnymen Top 5 fave: The Killing Moon. The orig song was featured in the 2001 indie movie Donnie Darko ("Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions"). The best part of this remake is the rambling, "Cucumber, cu-cu-cumber, ca-ca-ca-ca-cabbage". Love Pavement's nonsensical gloom + doom. ;)

Ryan Adams   (iTunes)
The brothers of Oasis, Liam and Noel Gallagher, are talented indeed. But their brotherly feuds can be draining. Ryan Adams is equally fraught w/strife, but
what the hell, he's insanefully talented and does this song sweet justice.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :
And I've never seen anyone quite like you before
No, I've never met anyone quite like you before
Bolts from above hurt the people down below
People in this world, we have no place to go

Oh, it's the last time
Oh, I've never met anyone quite like you before
Oh no, I've never met anyone quite like you before  

- temptation
: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :


  1. Hey Joyous, what a fab list!

    I especially have to give you props for including Slowdive on the list! We'll make a shoegazer of you yet!

    I think the best covers are the ones where the band takes the song and truly makes it their own. Meaning there are a lot of crap ones and just a few good ones. And with that said, a few of my faves:

    "Wild Horses" The Sundays (originally The Rolling Stones) - Probably the finest cover ever. nuff said

    "The Man Who Sold The World" Nirvana (originally David Bowie) - Something of a trend for covers in that live shows tend to bring out some of the best ones.

    "I Am The Walrus" Oasis (originally The Beatles) - Gotta love this crowd pleaser of a show-closer. It's always nice to know when a band has finally finished their set and you don't have to stand around doing the obligatory clapping in anticipation of the inevitable encore.

    "One" REM (originally U2) - I used to have this one and for some reason lost it. Boo. Stipe's vocals bring an emotional quality to the song that I think Bono missed.

    I heard at a live show REM did a cover of Interpol's "NYC". Have been searching for a recording of it forever with no luck. If you know where to find it, i'd be grateful. :)

    "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" Lush (originally Lally Stott) - so sugary sweet it'll induce cavities.

    "Creeque Alley" Belle and Sebastian (originally The Mamas and the Papas) - heard this one at a live show in LA. Another one of those "if only I had a recording of that show" moments.

    I could keep going, but this is your blog. ;^)

  2. I've been streaming this playlist while I worked this afternoon and it has been perfect to work to! It's hard to beat a good remix, and you have some of my favorites on here. I really liked Wonderwall and A Forest - two I hadn't heard before. Some others you might like:

    Yael Naim: Toxic (orig. Britney Spears)(I'm not proud)
    Paul Banks: Narc (orig. Interpol)